Monday, April 4, 2011

Pansies who love chicken wire

My son and I were cleaning up the yard on Saturday and he found a piece of old chicken wire. It was a cast-off scrap from a cage I'd built last year to protect our strawberries. Since it wasn't very big, I told him to bin it.

Then, on Sunday, I realized that was a mistake and retrieved it. Turns out this piece of chicken wire may be the solution to one of my biggest problems: squirrels in my pansies.

As my son potted pansies for the hanging baskets, I cut the chicken wire into rectangles to cover the surface of the planting boxes on my deck railing. Then I scooped out about 1/5 of the soil and lay the mesh on top of the remaining soil.

Then I cut four holes through which to plant the pansies, after which I covered the mesh with the soil that I'd removed earlier. This was repeated for three boxes and two pots down on the patio.

This morning, the unprotected front pot has clear evidence of squirrel tampering. But the planters with their new layer of chicken wire look undisturbed. If all goes well, this will prove to be the solution to one of my squirrel problems...and save the lives of countless innocent flowers!